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Greetings Friends and Colleagues,
For the past three conference years, we as your Executive Council, have had to make an agonizing decision as to our annual conference.  The first two years, not as difficult because we all knew where we stood with COVID.  But here we are today.  Two years later!  Are we seeing the light at the end of the tunnel or is that another train coming?  It's hard not to be a little paranoid.


The Executive Council met on January 25th to discuss this matter.  We did not cancel the conference, but we did cancel the Oglebay venue for an in-person conference. Here’s the logic behind the decision:  We were up against a deadline with Oglebay.  If we opted to attempt the in-person conference, and then cancelled closer to the conference date, it would have been quite costly with fees and penalties.  If we held the conference and no one came, it would have been even worse, a financial disaster.


So, instead of an annual in-person conference, we must make this a REBUILDING year.  There is a lot of work to be done to get our Public Health Association strong and back on its feet again. In lieu of the in-person conference, we will begin by conducting virtual training sessions, or if possible, one-day in person seminars, this year that will be done in partnership with our state colleagues.  Deputy Commissioner Amy Adkins has assured me of the state’s support, assistance, and attendance.  It is my hope that we can find subject matter that is relevant to all our membership, State Public Health officials and partners, Public Health Education partners, and Local Health Departments.  We need to be inclusive of all elements of West Virginia public health.  The Executive Council will meet next on April 20th to start this process.


OK, what can we in membership do? 
First and foremost, keep your sections functioning.  For the most part, you folks have been amazing at holding things together these past two years.
Over the last two years we have not assessed any dues.  This year we are asking that our nominal dues of $15.00 for each member be paid by April 15th.  If not paid by that date the dues go up to $20.00.  Please see the form @ wvpublichealthassociation.org  and submit with your payments as soon as possible.  The WVPHA is funded solely by our dues payments, and we need this support to move the association forward.  “Do not delay, pay today.” 😊
Support the Executive Council by contacting Julie Miller, President-Elect at salukiherd@fontier.com with your ideas and thoughts on how to build on our organization.  This input might take the form of training ideas, interesting and informative presenters, and potential venues from which to conduct short one-day seminars.  Or other ideas YOU think are important. 


Finally, Work with colleagues and leadership in your own organization to recruit every possible member.  My personal goal is to make every member of my Health Department a member of the West Virginia Public Health Association.


Stay safe.  Do not despair.  “This too shall pass.”
Respectfully and Sincerely,
Boyd K. Vanhorn
President, WVPHA

WVPHA HISTORY1920-present

Any person shall be eligible for membership who is engaged in the practice of public health, either directly or indirectly, or who is interested in advancement of public health.